Sunday, April 14, 2013

And This is Why You SHOULD Be a Teacher... (Part II: My Top 10 for Teaching)


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My Top 10 for Teaching!
 
10. It is true that the best teachers are still students. Teachers should be lifelong learners and, if that is something you desire, this is a great field for you. I heard once (from somewhere?) that the trick to teaching is pretending you've known your whole life what you just learned that morning. So true! Some things stick (Shakespeare possibly died from eating improperly pickled herring...) and there are other things I have to reteach myself over and over again (past participles GAH!). I find myself constantly researching things for my classroom to make my lessons better. This, I love.





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9. Talk about autonomy! In your classroom, you are the boss. You set your rules and guidelines and it’s your way or the highway (which has a MAJOR impact on your skills as a classroom manager, but more on this another day…). For those Type A personalities (or, like myself, Type AAA), this is a very, very good thing. Not many other careers provide you with this.




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8. You get to be creative. This is a huge part of the field for me. I enjoy being creative and teaching is a great outlet for me. It's a great excuse to design my own templates, download tons of free fonts, play with Prezi and PowerPoints, and come up with the most interesting, multi-faceted lessons I can.



7. There is more to teaching than teaching. To some people, this is a big negative. To me, it is a huge positive and one of my absolute favorite things about being a teacher. I get to participate in pep rallies (dance off, anyone?), go to sporting events, decorate hallways and shopping cart floats, and be a part of this huge, amazing community.



6. You are not stuck in one spot. It's true you spend a lot of time in your classroom, but you have a whole classroom! It isn't a cubicle. And you have a school building, or maybe even a whole campus. I love the freedom to mozy around.




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5. You don't have to take yourself too seriously. Sure, there is a time and place to be serious, but what I love best is when I don't have to be serious. The first few weeks of school are always kind of tough because I'm a total hard ass. It's that whole "it's easier to get nicer throughout the year than to get meaner" philosophy. Once we get past that point, it's great to joke in front of the kids and to be able to laugh about it when you fall down in front of them.



4. Every day is different. Hell, every hour is different. I'm often asked, "Doesn't it get boring teaching the same thing six times a day?" You know, even though it sometimes feels a bit tedious when you read Act IV, scenes 1 and 2 of Romeo and Juliet six times a day, it's never boring for me because each class is different. Things can be so unpredictable. My class periods are all completely different from each other, so I never know who's going to get the dirty sword jokes from Act I and who's going to ask me why Romeo needs a rope ladder for the wedding night.




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3. You will laugh. I guarantee you will laugh every.single.day. I get in at least one good belly laugh almost every class period! Who wouldn't want to laugh?






2. You will make a difference. Sometimes it takes a while before you ever find out, but you definitely will make a difference to some kid. Probably more than one. On Tuesday, I am going to a banquet at my old school because one of the now-seniors asked for me to be there. I'm going to be recognized for having an impact on his/her academic success. How many other careers will you have a chance like that to see your efforts paying off?

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1. You will grow as a human being and you will be a better person for your experiences. I have laughed with my students, I have comforted them at their darkest moments, I have shared advice with them, I have cried for them. I have seen them (and their families) at their best and at their worst. I have seen amazing community outreach when a family loses a home to a fire, and I have seen kids love each other a little extra when one of their peers has died. There are kids who lead lives you just can't even imagine, and I know that my heart has opened up tremendously in the last three years. You will learn the meaning of gratitude, and you will recognize how blessed you are to have come so far in life.

Don't forget to link up with your Top 10 for Teaching! Share the teaching love!

5 comments:

  1. I have been a teacher for 5 years, in three different states. I have taught Speech, Debate, & all levels of English Literature for High School. I have read many blogs about reasons to NOT enter into education. While I myself have found that there are days that do prompt the inevitable questioning of my own sanity; there are so many more days that provide me with a profound and undeniable feeling that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Glad to see I am not the only one!

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    1. I find it so discouraging when I read those other blogs bashing the profession, most of which are written by disgruntled teachers! Like I mentioned in the post, I get it, I really do. But what if we are preventing someone from that (as you put so beautifully) "profound and undeniable feeling" knowing they are doing what they are meant to do? It's great to hear from someone else who understands they are doing what they are meant to do. :)

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  2. I just discovered your blog, and I love it already! What a great post. It's May, and I need reasons to remember why I joined this crazy profession. By the way, I teach freshman English too, and I totally play up the dirty sword jokes in R & J. So much fun!

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    1. So glad to hear you're enjoying my crazy rants. May is kind of rough on all of us! My drama club students want to perform Romeo and Juliet next fall! Ack!

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  3. Stephanie, thank you for fending off the "meanies" I keep having approach me who question my "wild" belief that as a teacher, I'll make an important difference -- all those scoffs about "oh, right, you'll get a job" and what a terrible educational world it is out there. I'm excited, don't get me wrong, but I started to get nervous, thinking, "am I glamorizing it too much? Is it foolish to think teaching would be fun?"

    All I get is criticism -- "oh yeah, great to teach to standards" and all that nonsense about education being nothing like it should be. While I agree, that's not what I try to dwell on.

    Thank you for cementing my belief that it will be fun for me, and I will have tough times, but also great experiences.

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